Matheus Hamutenya KEETMANSHOOP-Despite the fears that criminal activities might increase in the town of Oranjemund, following the opening of the town to the public, police say crime in the diamond-mining town is low. Oranjemund has for nearly a century been closed to the public, as it was classified as a “prohibited area”, a diamond mining area where only authorised persons were allowed to enter. Entering the area required a permit and police clearance to indicate that the person had no criminal record. In October last year, the town was officially opened to the public, which means people no longer need to apply for any special permit to have access to the town, and while that has changed, the police say the opening of the town has not led to a spike in criminal activities. According to Detective Inspector Isak Anton, of the criminal investigation department, 136 cases were recorded in 2016, compared to 119 cases recorded in 2017. In November 2016 there were 17 cases recorded, which is an increase over the 12 cases reported in November 2017, which was after the opening of the town to the public. There were 12 cases recorded in December 2017 compared to 10 cases recorded in December 2016. “So as you can see, we cannot really say we have had any increase in crime due to the opening of the town as there has not been a significant increase compared to other years,” said Anton. The most common crimes at the town are theft, common assault, theft of motor vehicles and housebreaking. Anton says the crimes are mostly committed by long-term residents of Oranjemund, and not by the new people who just moved into the town. “Those house break-ins are usually done by residents of Oranjemund themselves, those that have been here and not the newcomers,” he said. He said the community has been doing a spectacular job in helping the police curb crime. He urged all residents to be the eyes and ears of the police, and always communicate with neighbours whenever they leave town so as to avoid criminal activities such as theft.
2018-01-23 09:53:35 7 months ago